- Southern University's Board of Supervisors voted 8-7 Monday in favor of ousting Baton Rouge, La., campus Chancellor James Llorens.
- Llorens — who is so popular among students that they, and others, have rallied, petitioned, and staged a sit-in to show supports — needed 9 votes to keep his job.
- A previous vote in Shreveport on Feb. 8 had a 9-6 outcome, and yesterday's vote was called by board members using a rule that allows for the calling of a special meeting if requested in writing by five board members.
This wouldn't surprise us so much if the Llorens was unpopular among students and faculty, but the chancellor actually has a significant amount of support among members of the campus community. Yesterday's meeting saw everyone from students to faculty leaders to alumni association officers pleading with the board for him to stay due to his visibility and approachable nature.
Both votes came about as the result of the system's president, Ronald Mason, recommending that Llorens' contract be extended for a year on the conditions that he assist in an evaluation of the Baton Rouge campus and come up with “necessary financial and organizational changes” by July 1. It's unclear whether the divided board's votes are against Llorens or against Mason's perceived power grab and attempts to meddle in individual campuses' affairs.